Wednesday, February 22, 2017

PT Volunteer Raffle Winner Does It All, But How?

Parent Talk's new volunteer appreciation program has drawn its first raffle winner and . . . (drumroll) . . . Julie Hannon and her family have won a free Parent Talk membership year!  

Julie joined PT about three years ago after being introduced to PT's playgroups by a neighbor.  Since then, she has become a familiar face, volunteering at PT's Preschool and Kindergarten Fair, the bi-annual Used Toy, Clothing, and Equipment Sale, Spring Fundraiser, and the Summer Camp Fair. Volunteering at these events can include helping with things like set-up/clean-up, tagging, contacting participants, organizing, and marketing.  This year, Julie's efforts coordinating Parent Talk's 4th Annual Summer Camp Fair resulted in her name being entered in PT's first raffle under the new volunteer appreciation program.

Julie with  her husband P.J. and sons Bobby (5 months old), Patrick (4.5 years old) and Joseph (3 years old).

Julie works two nights a week as a nurse at Boston's Beth Israel and is married with three kids (aged 4.5 years, 3 years and 5 months old).   Parenting is a challenging job, whether you share responsibilities with others or do it all yourself.  Add the energy devoted to nurturing a relationship with a partner or spouse.  Add the demands of a stressful job like nursing.  Add the fact that all three kids are energetic boys under age 5.  Add that one of them is an infant.  What do you get as the total sum?  Not a lot of time left for volunteering, that's for certain! So, how does Julie do it?!

Julie explains, "The great thing I found out about Parent Talk is that sometimes you are afraid that you have no time to dedicate to it, but a lot can get done on your own time.  You can do it a little at a time, and not all at once."

Julie's first volunteered at PT's annual Preschool Fair.  She needed to research preschools for her family, so decided to fill the role of event coordinator.  She enjoyed it, and coordinated the Fair the next year, along with volunteering for many other PT events.

"It can seem overwhelming at first to take on a coordination role, but you can do a lot from home and online, especially with events like the Summer Camp Fair and Preschool Fair.  You can do it when you have a free moment, whether it be morning or night.  There's a lot of historical help.  [Parent Talk's] Preschool Fair [keeps] spreadsheets of who to contact.  It's easy to navigate a list of what to get done.  It makes it so much easier.  You don't necessarily have to get together with a group of people and coordinate schedules."

Julie says volunteering has helped her make connections and meet people in the community she otherwise would not have met.  "The best thing about volunteering is that you learn about Parent Talk offerings . . . and you are helping a great organization," she adds.  You might miss an online announcement, but volunteering puts you in contact with the community and can keep your family in the loop about fun events and helpful resources.

While many volunteers could just as easily have won this first raffle, we are happy that it was you, Julie!  Thank you for all of your efforts that benefit our entire Parent Talk community.

About the Author
Darlene W. Cancell first volunteered for Parent Talk at its biannual Used Toy, Clothing and Equipment Sale a few years ago.  She continued to volunteer at various events and enjoyed a stint as PT's Blog Coordinator.  Currently, Darlene is enjoying her role on the Board as Volunteer Chair,  She looks forward rewarding more PT members in future raffles under the new volunteer appreciation program!

Parent Talk thanks all of our wonderful volunteers who are essential to making PT events, programming and resources available to all members!

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